Some students in Blue Mountains schools are finding a bit of magic alongside maths and English this year.
Developed by world-renowned magician, David Copperfield, the stimulating mentoring program, Project Magic, “provides therapeutic benefit through the learning of magical illusion”, organisers say.
Project Magic operates in America and 30 other countries, providing motivation, enhanced self-esteem and increased hope to thousands of individuals of all ages. Not-for-profit Christian youth and community organisation, Fusion Blue Mountains, is running Project Magic locally.
Young professional magician and member of the Fusion Blue Mountains team, Kieran Taylor, introduced Project Magic to Springwood High students in a pilot last year. Telstra provided financial support of $1200 through its community grants, which enabled the program to start with great success.
“We were absolutely astounded to see the positive effects on the students, particularly in how they function within the school,” said Jan Mason, head welfare teacher at Springwood High School.
“It’s difficult to put into words how powerful Project Magic is. I had to see it work before I believed it, but it does work and it’s amazing.”
Students participating in the program receive instruction in simple magic tricks, a basic kit of tools and equipment and continued practice in school workshops. Twenty students participated over four terms last year.
“The program is for students who are identified by the teaching staff as students who could benefit from opportunity to build self esteem, self confidence and communication skills,” David Herdon, Fusion Blue Mountains team leader said.
“The highlight is the celebration of the students’ learnings and achievements at a student showcase where students and professional magicians perform for family, friends and staff.”
“Students are each awarded a certificate of achievement. The range of outcomes for students who have participated in Project Magic include improved self-esteem, self-confidence, communication and self-management skills. It is hoped that through the program students will find increased engagement and achievement in the school setting.”
This term Project Magic is running at Blaxland High and it will soon re-start at Springwood. The next Student Showcase, featuring a group of Year 9 students presenting their newly learned skills, is set for Tuesday, June 13 at Blaxland High.
Fusion Blue Mountains has a commitment to developing resilience in individuals and the community through local initiatives. Future sponsors are needed to keep the project going. Contact 0423 320 555. About $2000 is needed to cover expenses.